Execs and Accounts for May 17, 2002

Avenue A has launched a new corporate advisory board, which will include Graham Phillips, former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, and Ervin Shames, former CEO of General Foods USA. The advisory board’s charter will be to accelerate the growth and direction of Avenue A and help further company initiatives. Phillips and Shames will join Avenue A president and CEO Brian McAndrews and board of directors member Jack Sansolo in launching the board. Phillips is a particular star in the advertising community, having spent 28 years with Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, where he rose to chairman and chief executive in 1989. He also served as chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Advertising, a position he held until WPP acquired Y&R in the fall of 2000.

“We are extremely fortunate to have marketing leaders like Graham and Erv join our advisory board,” said McAndrews. “Their knowledge of media and marketing, coupled with their deep belief in digital advertising’s ability to change the way businesses communicate with their customers, will help guide Avenue A.”

Freestyle Interactive has been tapped by Progressive Insurance, an auto insurance group, to create an online ad campaign to drive business to its Web site. According to Freestyle, the campaign leverages Progressive’s offline brand through a number of contextual Web ads that cater to specific online audiences. Freestyle is responsible for the media buy in addition to the creative elements of the campaign. In addition to the traditional banner ads, Freestyle will launch a series of short animated ads designed specifically for the Web, on a variety of personal interest and news sites such as CBS Marketwatch and Salon.com.

“Today, it’s increasingly hard to break through the clutter online. In order to reach Progressive’s target audiences, we are leveraging the interactive nature of the Web and creating something much more personal and engaging than traditional banner ads,” said Toby Gabriner, president at Freestyle Interactive.

Snapple has launched a new town-themed Web site. The site was created by iDeutsch, the interactive unit of Deutsch, which handles all advertising promotions, public relations and Internet activities for Snapple. In the town of “Snappleton,” site visitors can view Snapple commercials in the “Snaplex Cinema,” visit the Snapple museum, send e-mail from the “post office,” along with other features. The Snappleton site is one component of an integrated campaign for 2002.

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